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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Grant’

Lies

In Book Reviews on January 5, 2014 at 11:59 am
Egmont 2010

Egmont 2010

This is the 3rd in the series by Michael Grant and I’m still really enjoying them. Since this is the third in the series, I’m not sure how spoilerific this post is going to be but please be advised that I will divulge a bit of information (at least from the previous books). It would be impossible to talk about this book without doing so. If you would like to know what I thought about the two previous books in the series, please see my posts for Gone and Hunger.

Nutshell blurb: Kids are still trapped under the barrier that separates them from the rest of the world. They’ve found a solution to the food problem they were having but have discovered a new range of problems. New factions have formed and kids are fighting against each other in a bid for survival.

It’s been interesting to see how these kids would deal with the loss of the authority figures in their lives and the decisions they make. Mr. Grant doesn’t shy away from heavy subjects, such as cannibalism, even though we’re dealing with kids.

The event which caused the barrier aka the FAYZ to be created also resulted in some of the kids receiving special powers. It has also caused the wildlife that was trapped with them to mutate creating even more peril for them. In the previous books, the kids were separated into two factions: the kids from Coates Academy and those from Perdido Beach. In this book, there’s been yet another schism between the kids with special powers and those with none. Some of the kids who don’t have powers are terrified of those who do and have declared war on them.

It’s quite an interesting situation because the kids with powers in Perdido Beach are trying to establish a system of government in an effort to return to some sense of normalcy. They lack the ability to enforce these laws and are constantly frustrated in their attempts to give everyone a stable living environment. But hey, most of them are under 15 . Whaddya expect?

One thing that made me a bit skeptical is the addition of new characters into the story. I would have thought that we would have met everyone who was noteworthy in the first couple of books since we’ve been trapped under a dome since then. As it turns out, there’s an island off the coast that was the home of a celebrity couple who adopted kids from several different countries (Brangelina, anyone?) and the kids have no idea what’s going on. They end up getting dragged into the mess eventually. I’m willing to suspend my disbelief on this subject. For now. In the last book, the kids on the mainland were starving and trying to find food. They all knew about this island and they have boats. Why wouldn’t it occur to them to travel to it? I’ll have to see how it plays out in the next book. Hopefully there will be a plausible explanation.

We also get more of a view on what caused the barrier to be created as well as a brief snapshot of what is potentially happening outside of it.

This was a very fun and exciting book to read and I did so quickly. I’m a bit leery series that go beyond three books. Sometimes I find that they have a tendency to drag things out that could have been said or explained in less time and space. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case with these books so I’ll definitely pick up the next one when I see it in the library.

Hunger

In Book Reviews on September 11, 2013 at 6:43 am

Hunger

First published in the USA 2009 by HarperTeen
First published in Great Britain 2010 by Egmont UK Limited

Nutshell blurb: The adults have all disappeared leaving everyone under the age of 15 behind. The kids who survived the first book now face a food shortage. They also have to contend with the fact that some of them are developing strange powers.

This is the second book in this series (you can read my thoughts on the first one here).

The first book deals with the fact that everyone over the age of 15 had disappeared leaving kids behind in a small town in California. Being kids with no adult supervision, they made the mistake of not planning ahead with their food. They ate all of the candy/ice cream/junk food and let a lot of fruit/vegetables/meat go to waste.

In this book, those consequences kick in as they now have to ration what they have left. The kids that are left are separated into two factions; those who live in Perdido Beach and those who live in Coates Academy. These factions do not get along and are being broken down further into kids who have strange mutant powers against those who don’t. Throw a nuclear power plant and some mutating animals/insects into the mix and you’ve got a really exciting story filled with peril and action.

This series is YA and it recommends that the reader be 12+ due to “scenes of cruelty and some violence” but that doesn’t mean that it’s a light and comfortable story for adults. These kids deal with some heavy problems, only without the benefit of adult supervision.

One of the problems is that the town is being run by a 15 year old. He’s managing over 100 kids who have no discipline and no desire to harvest food that is growing in the surrounding area. Some of the kids get into alcohol or drugs and one of the girls has an eating disorder even though they are on the verge of starvation.

This book also comes closer to explaining why it all started.

I love this series. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I find it fascinating to imagine how people would survive in a post-apocalyptic world with limited resources. It’s especially interesting to imagine how kids would survive. In this book, they don’t always make the right decisions (even the main characters) but they do the best they can. Some of them try to do things to give their world some semblance of normality, such as creating currency.

There is a lot of action and even though it’s YA, Mr. Grant doesn’t pull punches. People get hurt. People die. There are lynchings. The only real defining characteristics that make it YA to me are the fact that there is no sex and no swearing.

It’s a fantastic series (so far) and I’ll be getting the third book the next time I go to the library.

If you’ve read these books, I’d love to know what you think. (No spoilers, please!)

Gone

In Book Reviews on July 24, 2013 at 6:00 am

Gone

Egmont Press 2009

One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone. There. Gone. No ‘poof’. No flash of light. No explosion.

Nutshell blurb: One day, everyone aged 15 and older disappears leaving kids to fend for themselves.

I wasn’t sure what I would think about this book at first. Sometimes books aimed at kids are so far below my reading level that I can’t take them seriously. They could be very well written but the fact that they are aimed at kids means that they’ll be written differently. (I’m still trying to slog through Harry Potter.) If a book has an interesting premise, I’ll give it a try regardless of whom it’s written for.

And in this case, I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book. It was written for kids, but it never talks down to them and the action was pretty intense. Mr. Grant didn’t pull punches and I respect him for that.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love stories which provide a picture of how people handle adverse situations and the choices that they have to make. I really like reading how people think that children would react in these situations with no adult guidance. It’s interesting to see what authors come up with. I think that Mr. Grant nailed it in this case. Kids are selfish, unsure of themselves, and need authority and guidance (although I guess that could be said of adults as well). I think that if they had to forage for food in deserted supermarkets the candy, pop, ice cream and junk food would be the first things to go. Their first thoughts wouldn’t be to see if anyone needed help. They would most likely mill around until someone corralled them and gave them tasks to do. I’m in no way saying that people under the age of 15 are stupid, but I think that adults who have more life experience would struggle in these situations too so it would be silly to think that kids would be able to behave the way we think that they should.

It was great to see that some of the kids accepted that they were alone and finally tried to sort things out, but they had to contend with bullies and other forces which thwarted them at every turn.

This was a long book at 570 pages, but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the next one.

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